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NEWS | Nov. 7, 2016

Chaplain Sent From Above

By Cpl. Timothy Yao 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (November 6, 2016) – From navigating the skies as a Naval Aviator, to traversing the spiritual journey to hope, Army Reserve Chaplain Lt. Col. Graham Harbman retires after 31 years of military service.

After 14 years as a Navy helicopter pilot, Harbman decided to join the Army as a chaplain to support and guide those who felt lost. While serving in the Navy Reserve he attended Westminster Theological Seminary, then joined the New Jersey National Guard after receiving his Master’s of Divinity.
While serving in the National Guard, he was activated after the September 11th attacks. As Chaplain, he provided support and spiritual assistance to federal employees sorting through the World Trade Center rubble at a landfill on Long Island, NY.

“It was an honor to care alongside people and bring about hope during that time of darkness,” said Harbman.

Harbman recalls another opportunity to minister when he attended a yearly gathering for Soldiers in the Inactive Ready Reserve.

“There was a combat veteran who was so afraid to enter the building, I just sat and had a conversation on the bench outside,” said Harbman.

“As members of the military, we all share something significant.”

Throughout his time in the Army, Harbman’s biggest take-away were those moments he interacted with other Soldiers.

“There’s something special about walking along side someone amidst tragedy, and to share the hope of Christianity during those times,” said Harbman.

Following a combined 31 years in the military, Harbman retired from his military career after giving his last worship service at the 311th ESC.  During the service, he spoke about having “strength for the journey,” and encouraged all the Soldiers to not just do their best, but to care about those they serve.